In a debate sponsored by the Burlington Free Press, Vermont’s gubernatorial candidates were asked if they had seen any evidence of the highly partisan, negative style of Washington, D.C., politics in the state’s elections this year.
Democrat Peter Shumlin said yes and he pointed to the campaign of the GOP candidate for Treasurer Wendy Wilton.
"I think Wendy’s campaign is uncharacteristic of the way we conduct campaigns in Vermont," said Shumlin. "That’s not the kind of tone of campaigning that we usually see here in Vermont."
Republican Randy Brock defended Wilton and her work as City Treasurer in Rutland.
"When I was state auditor I looked at the books of Rutland and the disastrous condition they were in at that time and I know that Wendy Wilton as Treasurer of Rutland has managed to turn that around."
Retired Middlebury College political science professor Eric Davis says there’s a good reason why the Democrats are concerned about the outcome of this race:
"I think what the governor is concerned about is that the tone that some Democrats see from the Wendy Wilton campaign in the last month or so that that tone would carry over into office were she elected and the Treasurer’s office would become the source of a lot of opposition."
Davis says that incumbent Democrat Beth Pearce has raised a lot more money than Wilton but he says this advantage has been neutralized because a GOP Super PAC has spent several hundred thousand dollars on TV spots for Wilton.
VIDEO: Governors Debate At The Burlington Free Press